Ask Jefferson County to Conduct a Full Master Plan Update for Rocky Mountain Metro Airport

Ask Jefferson County to Conduct a Full Master Plan Update for Rocky Mountain Metro Airport

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Lead Overhead started this petition to Jefferson County and

Overview

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport (RMMA) is the 2nd busiest General Aviation airport in Colorado and operations have increased significantly in the past decade. RMMA is currently working to finalize a strategic development plan to further increase operations (adding commercial passenger aircraft, increasing flight training operations, adding another taxiway, and more) without first completing an Environmental Assessment or allowing robust public debate. The operations at RMMA negatively impact the lives of tens of thousands of residents in surrounding communities. This petition asks that Jefferson County abide by the conditions set forth by the FAA grant assurances and that RMMA conduct a full Master Plan update.

  • On average, 520 aircraft arrive and depart RMMA each day, and these are predominately routed over residential areas in Boulder, Broomfield, and Jefferson Counties;
  • The majority of these flights are piston aircraft that generate leaded exhaust particulate over these communities;
  • RMMA has four fixed-wing flight schools that train with nearly 200 piston aircraft. According to the information published by the flight schools themselves, roughly half of them are more than 20 years old and about one-third of those are 40 years old or older;
  • Between 2016 and 2019, RMMA increased operations (i.e., number of departures and arrivals) from 142,000 to 190,000 annually. That is a 34% increase, or approximately 131 additional flights a day, in just three years!

Why does this matter to you?

  • There are NO safe levels of lead.
  • General Aviation aircraft (the small planes you see and hear overhead all day) are the cause of 72% of airborne lead pollutants in Colorado as of 2017 according to the EPA;
  • As of 2018, RMMA had the second-highest sales volume of leaded AVgas in the state of Colorado;
  • Lead is shown to have substantial detrimental health impacts on human life, especially children,
  • Noise has been shown to greatly impact health and is estimated to increase health care costs; much of which is paid for with public coffers;
  • There have been at least 13 General Aviation accidents in Colorado so far in 2021. At least 3 of them have occurred in our local area.

Please sign this petition and send it to others who may be affected by this issue. Help us hold RMMA and Jefferson County accountable to the tens of thousands of us who are affected by their decisions.

If you’d like to learn more, please visit us at https://www.saveourskiesalliance.org/

Background

Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, previously known as Jefferson County Airport, was built in 1960. At the time, the area surrounding the airport was largely farmland. Westminster, Louisville, Superior, Lafayette, Erie, Boulder, Arvada were all firmly established, although much smaller in size than they are today. The first proposed site in Arvada for the airport was strenuously objected to by neighboring communities. At the time, the airport largely serviced small private and business flights. Although there were not as many people living here at the time and the airport was built largely surrounded by agricultural land, it was not without controversy.

Repeated attempts to grow and develop the airport have been met with opposition from neighboring communities at every turn for more than 60 years. Jefferson County officials knew when planning for the airport that it would be a nuisance to its neighbors but they rejected opportunities to purchase the surrounding land. Instead, Jefferson County approved numerous residential developments adjacent to the airport, and today it exports RMMA’s noise and lead pollution to the communities in Boulder and Broomfield counties that have no input into airport operations and development decisions. Throughout its development, Jefferson County and the airport have tried to push through changes and development plans without the appropriate public input. Well documented issues between the airport and its neighbors date back to 1958 and continue to the present day.

The FAA suggests that small General Aviation airports update their master plans when there is a major change in activity at the airport, or if they are working on a major update project. RMMA has not updated their Master Plan since 2011. Between 2010 and 2020, there was a 57% increase in flight operations at RMMA and a 75% increase in local civil operations (predominantly flight schools). Given these factors, it seems appropriate for Jefferson County to update their master plan before further changes in flight frequency and types of service.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!